Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday asked party MPs to gear up for a “strong fight”, attributing the Opposition’s attack on his government to the BJP’s election wins but sidestepping the “vindictive” disqualification of Rahul Gandhi from the Lok Sabha and his regime’s silence on charges of fraud against the Adani group.
Modi’s exhortation to the BJP came as the Opposition intensified its protest and Congress members for the second day tore papers and tossed them towards the Lok Sabha Speaker’s chair to vent their anger at the disqualification of Rahul.
The Opposition members waved placards and raised slogans in both Houses of Parliament, demanding a joint parliamentary committee probe into the Adani affair.
“The Opposition is nervous after the BJP’s emphatic victory in the northeastern states and Gujarat. The more the BJP rises, the more the attack from the other side,” Modi told party MPs at a closed-door meeting. “We have to be ready for a strong fight,” he added, accusing the Opposition of “below-the-belt” attacks.
Modi didn’t broach the Adani controversy. Instead, he hit out at Opposition unity and claimed that the “corrupt have come together” because of action by government agencies.
“All those deep in corruption are coming together on one stage,” Modi said, addressing workers after inaugurating an extension building of the party headquarters in Delhi. “This action by agencies against corruption will continue,” he added, claiming that he enjoyed the support of the people in this campaign.
“Wherever I go, people tell me that Modiji, don’t stop,” the Prime Minister said, amid loud cheers of “Modi, Modi”.
The Prime Ministermade no direct reference to Rahul’s disqualification or the corruption charges against the Adani group — the two issues that have brought the Opposition together.
Modi, who is widely accused of systematically weakening democratic institutions, termed the “constitutional institutions” the foundation of the country and alleged that there was a conspiracy by anti-India forces to “defame” them.
“The constitutional institutions are the foundation of our democracy and so there is a conspiracy to attack and defame this very foundation,” he said.
“To pull back India, this foundation is being attacked. People who are neck-deep in corruption are attacking the agencies when they are acting against them. Courts are being attacked and questioned for their verdict. Some parties have launched a campaign to save the corrupt,” Modi said.
As Modi nudged his party’s leaders, the government indicated that the Parliament session would continue till the scheduled date of April 6 despite the logjam and uproarious protests, signalling an intent to intensify the hostility with the Opposition.
The government had earlier indicated premature closure of the budget session amid no signs of peace with the Opposition, which has been firm on its demand for a joint parliamentary committee probe into the Adani affair. The animosity between the Treasury and Opposition benches has aggravated after Rahul’s disqualification.
BJP insiders said the decision not to cut short the session was taken as the leadership wanted to pursue its offensive against the Opposition.